Getting the Most out of a Recruitment Agency

Kim Bowler, Consultant at Michael Page has partnered with Thomas Pocklington Trust and our Get Set Progress internship programme to offer the following top hints and tips in using a recruitment agency.

  1. Know the agency: agencies may have specialisms e.g., office based, construction, care etc. If you are open to different job ops, register with as many as you can, but have a way of keeping on top of it e.g., spreadsheets, notebook.
  1. Be personable: if you get allocated a specific person at the agency, ask about them, take an interest. It will help them warm to you and you’ll spring to mind quickly when an opportunity comes up.
  2. Be memorable: drop your contact an occasional message, try to set yourself apart from others. On your CV, make your opening statement memorable.
  3. Be prepared: interviewers, recruiters might ask you to expand on something from your CV so know it well! Each time you write something, ask yourself “So what?” – what is its relevance? What is it demonstrating?
  4. Be clear about your career trajectory or have an idea of where your skills could take you. Your consultant can help you in your job search but isn’t able to provide careers advice. Make sure you match your skills to the job description.
  5. Be specific about your skills. Give examples e.g. written communication, verbal communication, problem solving etc.
  6. What makes you stand out? Even if it’s your VI, what transferable skills have you gained?
  7. Take the ‘mystery’ out of the disability in the early stages so the recruiter/employer knows what adjustments they have to make. Come to them with the solutions rather than the potential problems they’ll have if they employ you. Use ‘and’ not ‘but’ when talking about overcoming issues e.g. ‘I could not see the form very well to help the client fill it in AND I searched for an alternative format online which made it easier to continue the home visit.’ (my own example).
  8. Find good synonyms for your traits: Stubborn = determined, focused, relentless = goal-oriented, motivated, persistent = tenacity etc

Use the STAR method of answering an interview question: Situation, Task, Action, Result, more information can be found here.

  1. If asked at the end of the interview, “Do you have any questions of your own?”, ask “Was there anything in my interview that concerned you or that I didn’t answer as fully as you’d like?”. If they do, you can address it there and then. If they don’t, it still shows them your willingness and drive.
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